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Thread: 23 Squadron RAF Flt Lt Robert (Bob) Henry Williamson RAFVR, Service no. 62691

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    Default 23 Squadron RAF Flt Lt Robert (Bob) Henry Williamson RAFVR, Service no. 62691

    Bob was posted "Failed to return" in the Squadron ORB, on 28 November 1942. He was piloting his Mosquito, from RAF Bradwell Bay, via Ford Aerodrome, with FO (Obs) Norman Lavers 116968 alongside, on intruder operations in the Cognac - Chateaubernard area. Bob was my late mother's husband and I have his wristwatch, which was recovered from his body and returned home via the Underground movement, in working order.

    My wife and I visited the two graves, in Crouin Communal Cemetry, outside Cognac, to pay our respects and I would like to find out how the crash occurred and whether the crash site can still be identified. How do I proceed, please?

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    The book: "Red Eagles - A History of 23 Squadron" by Peter Rudd DFC AE makes almost no mention of the loss of this crew apart from a short comment about this loss and a training accident. The two men appear in the Squadron Roll of Honour at the back of the book.

    Some general suggestions:

    Get the Record of Service for Flt Lt Williamson and this will give you a much wider perspective of his life and air force service.

    Approach the squadron association.

    Get the Forms 540 and 541 from the National Archives for the squadron during this period.

    I've suddenly realised I'm a bit behind the times but 23 Sqn used to be part of the E3 Sentry setup at Waddington. Write to the Sqn CO at Waddington and ask what records, archives etc they hold and please can you see them.

    There used to be a strong RAFA association in that area, based around ex-pats who retired there. Approach the RAF Association for an overseas branch list.

    Some others on this forum will give some other ideas - Good Luck.



    Colin Cummings

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    Thank you, Colin.

    I have now ordered the book and will try to obtain Bob's service record.

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